DPS officer, wife convicted in $175K embezzlement

2013-07-31T00:00:00Z 2013-07-31T09:17:19Z DPS officer, wife convicted in $175K embezzlementPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer and his wife were convicted of numerous charges related to a long-running embezzlement scheme.

Horacio Lomeli, 45, and Carmen Lomeli, 44, were convicted of conspiracy, money laundering, and theft charges on Monday in Santa Cruz County Superior Court for embezzling more than $175,000 from her employer Sierra Seed.

Investigators with the Arizona Attorney General's Office and the FBI were able to prove how between 2004 and 2009 Carmen Lomeli used her position in charge of finances for the Nogales-based seed-distribution company to write and deposit company checks into her and her husband's personal bank accounts, an Attorney General's Office news release said.

Carmen Lomeli also was convicted of mortgage fraud for falsely reporting the proceeds of the scheme as legitimate income on a home-loan application.

In all, she was found guilty on eight of the 10 charges filed against her. Horacio Lomeli was found guilty on eight of nine charges.

Assistant Attorney General Mike Jette, who prosecuted the case with Kim Ortiz, said the Lomeli's rejected a plea bargain earlier in the case. They face as many as 23 years in prison for each conviction.

Sentencing is scheduled for September in Judge James A. Soto's courtroom.

Contact Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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